Game Stew In A Pumpkin

With Autumn upon us and the Thanksgiving holidays right around the corner, I thought this would be a perfect change up to the dinner table. The recipe came to me through my friend Marsha Leeg. It’s a very simple, easy dish to make and even though it’s called Game Stew, ground meat, not stew meat is used. It’s not the stew your grandmother used to make.

I used ground Elk meat and combined with the pumpkin flavor, it gave off a definite holiday aroma. The pumpkin makes a great centerpiece for the table and when the pumpkin lid is removed, steam fills the room with a definite holiday aroma.


4 – 5 lb pumpkin
1 lb ground meat (elk, venison, buffalo)
2 cloves minced garlic
1 large chopped onion
1 cup uncooked rice (wild, long grain or white)
4 tbls butter
t tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp ground Tyme
1 can diced tomatoes
2 cups beef broth
Grated cheddar cheese – Optional


All the ingredients in the pumpkin ready for the oven. 


Wash pumpkin, cut off top creating lid. Scoop out seeds and stringing fibers. Brush the inside with olive oil and rub with salt.

Sauté meat, drain fat if any, add onion, uncooked rice and butter. Stir.
Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.

Fill pumpkin with mixture. Rice will be uncooked at this point. Replace lid and place in shallow backing pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 ½ hours or until the pumpkin flesh is tender. Pumpkin will turn a deep orange color.

Remove lid, top with cheese, replace lid and let sit for approximately 5 minutes while cheese melts. Serve from pumpkin, scraping the pulp from the cooked pumpkin with each serving.

Serve with warm hard-crusted bread and salad.


A warm hearty stew ready to be served. 


On the table, it makes a wonderful centerpiece and can be served directly from the pumpkin.

Shari is a former national shotgun shooting champion, international competitor, Women’s Shooting Sports Foundation director, NBC Olympic commentator, business owner and 2001 Shooting Industry Award winner.

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